Friday, July 26, 2013

My Top Ten List! Sequential Cartoonist Scale from 1 to 10

My scale of one to ten to rate your art level. 

Some people who have slobbered over your art because you draw better than them will give you a 10 and you're no better off than you were and still left standing there with false expectations.

Here's what my scale of 1 to 10 means. 

0 – No talent.

1 – You have talent.

2 – You draw like a twelve year old because you ARE a 12-year old.

3 – You draw like a twelve year old and got stuck there, even though you are 20 or 30 years old now. You never expanded your knowledge/practiced enough/took life drawing classes/read art books or any combination of these reasons and more. Yet you think (insert current popular artist here) is a hack and you can draw better than them.

4 – You draw more adult like. Your work is primitive. This is just a hobby for you. You're happy to express yourself with your art.

5 – You mostly copy other artists to practice. Your total knowledge is from what you've seen other artists do. You gain surface knowledge from copying, but nothing deeper. You only draw figures and no backgrounds. Nothing wrong with copying at this stage. You're beginning the learning process.

6 – You're finally taking classes and reading books to learn about anatomy, perspective, composition, chiaroscuro, color theory, storytelling, etc. You're adding skill to your raw talent. Now you're getting some where!

7- You have potential. You will answer an insulting ad from someone who won't pay you upfront, keep the rights to your art and promise you great exposure. If you can resist the temptation, use the time to make all the practice, learning and studying art to become second nature to you. Right now you still have to think about it. Editors who will pay upfront have a field day tearing your work apart.

8 – The work is inconsistent. Figures are stiff. Backgrounds are weak. You're not able to maintain character likeness or your style consistently. Storytelling needs help.

9 - Draftsmanship is good. Storytelling could be better. You've learned how to use photo reference as a tool, not a crutch. Now everything you've learned is a part of you. You don't have to think about how a deltoid and trapezius fit together and move and stuff like that. Now it's second nature to you.

10 – Art is good. Figures are lively, solid, anatomically correct with proper proportions and consistent. You can draw backgrounds that create a convincing reality. You understand how to create depth with foreground, middle ground and background. You haven't gotten bad critiques from editors for awhile now. Just little things here and there and not the big glaring errors you used to make. You're just waiting for your big break. You just need someone to take a chance on you.

You will always find someone willing to give you a first chance. What determines if you are ready to go pro is if someone gives you that second chance.

Now you may not neatly fit in this scale. You may be in-between. That's good! That means growth is happening. Do you need me to rate you or can you honestly look at yourself? Can you remove your self from the confusion caused by accolades of well meaning people and the rejection from editors? Can you be honest with yourself about your talent and skill level? Be honest about what you need to do and then do it without a primal scream?


TIP - If you hear the same critique more than once. It's not an opinion, it's something you need to work on, so do it!

Remember... Just Create!